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Structure and bonding vol. 70. bioinorganic chemistry. M J Clarke J B Goodenough J A Ibers (eds) Springer-verlag Heidelberg 1988. 194 pp. DM148

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Book reviews
Clevenger), Atomic plasma emission (Peter Uden),
Atomic fluorescence (A. D’Ulivo), Interfaces between
liquid chromatography and atomic absorption (Les
Ebdon and Steve Hill), Tin and germanium (0.F. X.
Donard and R. Pinel), Lead (M. Radojevic), Arsenic
and antimony (S. C. Apte, A. G. Howard and A. T.
Campbell), Mercury (S. Rapsomanikis), Selenium
(A. G. Howard), Sulphur gases (M. T. Shabbeer and
R. M. Harrison).
The names of these authors indicate the wide-ranging experience and authority behind the coverage in
each chapter.
Leicester Polytechnic
Structure and bonding Vol. 70. Bioinorganic
M J Clarke, J 6 Goodenough, J A lbers (eds)
Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, 1988. 194 pp. DM148. ISBN
The first volume of Structure and Bonding appeared in
1966 with the stated aim of providing up-to-date authorative reviews from the different fields of inorganic
chemistry, chemical-physics and biochemistry where
the general subject concerns chemical bonding to metal
atoms. This has been achieved with a high standard of
the articles and their presentation; the present volume
devoted to bioinorganic chemistry is no exception. The
three reviews make both interesting and stimulating
reading for all inorganic chemists-stimulating because
they challenge our conceptions about inorganic systems
and in doing so must broaden our thinking.
The first, and shorter, of the reviews is by K. Doi, B.
C. Antanaitis and P. Aisen, entitled ‘The binuclear iron
centers of uteroferrin and the purple acid phosphatases’. Uteroferrin, from uterine secretions, is one of
the more thoroughly studied enzymes of this group. As
their name implies they catalyse the hydrolysis of phosphate groups, a function we would normally associate
with zinc enzymes. The challenge to the inorganic
chemist is to explain why this group uses an active
binuclear iron centre, a centre more usually associated
with redox activity. The review concentrates on the
chemical and physical properties of these enzymes.
Despite the use of an impressive array of spectroscopic
techniques, the authors clearly show that there is still
much that is not known, e.g. the nature of the iron
ligands in the protein and the exact physiological role of
the enzymes.
The other two reviews consider the research done on
metal complexes as anticancer (antitumor) agents. The
complexes considered comprise phosphine and cyclopentadienyl compounds! How many inorganic chemists
would have considered using such ligands for chemotherapeutic use? Not many, including myself! S. J.
Berners-Price and P. J. Sadler review ‘Phospine and
metal phosphine complexes: relationship of chemistry
to anticancer and other biological activity’. The cover is
extensive, with 230 references and details of the chemical and structural properties of phosphines and their
metal complexes, and the relationship of these properties to the cytotoxicity and antitumour activity of the
metal phosphine complexes. Much of the stimulus for
the work in this area comes from the use of the triethyl
phosphine gold(1) complex ‘auranofin’ as an antiarthritic drug. Not surprisingly it is the gold(1) complexes
that predominate in this review. ‘Transition and maingroup cyclopentadienyl complexes: preclinical studies
on a series of antitumour agents of different structural
type’ is the third and final review, by P. Kopf-Maier
and H. Kopf. Following the success of cis-platinum as a
wide-ranging antitumour agent, the search for other
active metal complexes has been intense. Among those
examined, surprisingly, were the organometallic ncyclopentadienyl complexes. Antitumour activity of
these compounds was reported in 1979 and 1984; the
intense activity since these findings can be judged by
the 1982 references cited in the review. The authors,
give an in-depth report on the structure-activity relationships and pharmacological properties of the many
compounds studied. These mainly involve two types of
compounds, the metallocene diacido complexes,
Cp2MX2,(M =Ti mostly) and the metallicenium salts
CpzMfX- (M = Fe mainly). Antiviral, insecticidal and
antiflammatory properties are also reviewed.
Leicester Polytechnic School of Chemistry
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bonding, ibers, 1988, bioinorganic, heidelberg, 194, chemistry, goodenough, clarke, structure, springer, dm148, verlag, eds, vol
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